Visual Discoursing (Part 3)
Something there is about a tree …
… a trunk, branches and foliage are the visible parts of a tree the organization of which relates mostly to its search of light and nourishment.
Think of the “rosace,” that circular stained-glass window found in the façades of gothic cathedrals, as a way of capturing another form of light to nourish the human spirit by the agency of its colors and shapes.
The search for an image of the tree as light processor
In the feature image, an organic “rosace” of sorts, I have focused on the colors of the summer foliage and used the tree trunk and branches as white light holding it together.
In the following image the fall foliage comes out in an image using the same expressive pattern of white light organizing, rosace-like, its colored components.
In winter as the tree becomes dormant there is only white light in the absence of its foliage colored components as shown below.
One year has passed since that initial visual discourse …
… during which various graphic explorations of the tree reported in the previous posts brought me to the realization that the “rosace,” basically two-dimensional, had to be reconsidered for a more adequate expression of the three-dimensional reality of the tree.
I tried to reverse the approach and gave the trunk and branches a solid black visual place forward, so to speak, against the conventional yellow sun source of all light.
The visual discourse hastened as I saw in that image, more than interlacing tree elements, but mostly the potential expression of the organic forces taking those elements up and around each other in space, in a kind of dance.
Matisse’ “Dancers” moment of translation
All visual artists internally possess, as visual culture, a stock of images the meaning of which waits, in creation, for a translating moment … and such a moment had arrived for the fascinating painting by Matisse showing a circle of red dancers against a background of green and blue, when I saw in it my tree elements as organic dancers issued from the earth and reaching to the sky with their light catching foliage.
My sister saw the last image as a sort of mandala of the tree … other viewers simply found the image arresting.
It is not too difficult to decode the graphic means by which the impression of movement in space was arrived at: overlapping branches, etc,
I herewith acknowledge the part played by Matisse’ painting in the process of my getting there.
Wikipedia on the web, for the Matisse painting of the Dancers
Maurice Amiel for all other images in this post
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maurice Amiel, M. Arch. (U.C. Berkeley) is retired professor of Environmental Design at the School of Design, University of Quebec at Montreal, where he was involved mainly in environment-behaviour teaching and applied research projects. In order to promote environmental awareness, he has turned after retiring to documenting and writing about various physical and human agents contributing to a sense of self, place and sociability ... I wish to add to my interests the fundamental role of light in photography and the visual structure of all 2D forms of artwork.